This past weekend was my best friend from first grade's Bachelorette party. First, let me just note how fascinating it is to know someone from the time they wore a blue one piece bathing suit with fruit on it and had a baby belly that pooched out to the time when they are wearing a Suck-For-A-Buck tank top at their Bachelorette party! Amazing!
But before I get to that, let me explain how I got TO the party...My first flight was from Dallas to Philidelphia and then from Philly I flew to Cleveland. Trouble started the moment I set foot in the airport. I went through security trying to be my usual cautious and considerate self. I had my watch off long before I got to the conveyor belt, and I wore flip flops so as not to slow down the line with laces...
I quickly and efficiently pulled my laptop out of it's bag and placed it in it's own plastic crate, then I did the same for my shoes and my watch. I placed my laptop case on the conveyor belt next, and then my suitcase. I waited a minute until the belt started to move and then walked through security...No problem there, I did a good job of getting rid of metal--go me!
Well, then I walk over to retrieve my stuff and realize the plump frizzy haired lady watching the x-ray screen had stopped the conveyor and my stuff was stuck inside. She was also pointing to something and calling over another agent...then they laugh a little, but a nervous laugh...This cannot be good
...I wait patiently, but my heartrate is rapidly quickening...What is in my laptop bag?...CDs, a postcard, headset...lots and lots of cables...that must be it...T
hen the conveyor starts again. The second security agent informs me that there is something they cannot identify on the x-ray and they will need to search my bag...
Here I am, standing on a cold linoleum tile floor--barefoot, my laptop exposed to the world and every thief within a 50 yard radius and security wants to look in my bag...I am a nervous reck trying to think of what could possibly be in there...I am still sure it must be the cables...They are a jumbled mess and must look very interesting on the screen.
Mr. Security Agent #2 starts opening my bag looking through pockets...There are a lot of pockets in that bag...He keeps patting it down, feeling for something...is he looking for a secret compartment??..Oh, he needs to look in this pocket...
So I show him where the zipper is for one of the compartments and start unzipping it for him. He takes over the unzipping, and starts feeling around.
Then as he pulls his hand out, I notice he has something in his hand. What is that?? Oh, MY GOD! That's a BOX CUTTER!!! HOW THE HELL DID THAT GET IN THERE!?
It only takes my brain a nanosecond to go through the last couple of months to figure out where the box cutter could have come from, but it felt like an eternity. Oh God, the last time I drove to Houston to take samples to our buyer I threw that box cutter in my bag so could open the sample boxes...I am SO going to jail!!!
The next thing out of my mouth--before Mr. Security Agent #2 could even say a word, I said "Take it! Just take it. I cannot believe that is in there! I DO NOT want it. Just take it." He tried to interrupt my rant by telling me I could ship it back to myself but I interrupted him and told him again, "Please, just take it. I had no idea it was in there. I put it in my bag the last time I DROVE to Houston to open sample boxes..." At this point he is smiling at my antics...I guess I no longer looked like a terrorist to him...just a terrified woman. But my heart was pounding at about 200 bps and I was shaking like crazy. But then I watch as Mr. Security Agent #2 walks over to Frizzy Haired Security Agent and shows her what it was. They laugh! They--LAUGH! Why are they laughing??
Then I overhear them talking. The Frizzy Haired Security Agent tells the other one, "That's what it was?? It looked like a finger!!" They laugh again, as she points to the box cutter and shows him how the blade looked like a finger nail on the x-ray...A FINGER??? They thought I was carrying a finger?? And they were laughing at it when they first saw it on the X-ray??? And now they are laughing because it is ONLY a BOX CUTTER??? WOW! I am still going to jail...I have no idea why, but I am sure I am going.
Then they run my bag back through x-ray, and everything is fine and they tell me I can go. But as they do, a third agent walks up to me, leans in and says in a soft voice, "You're trouble, I can tell!" WHAT? WHAT did that mean??? Obviously it was sarcastic, but was the guy HITTING on me??? At the security checkpoint?? When they just thought I was a terrorist with a finger and a box cutter in my bag???
I smile politely and walk away stunned.
This is just the beginning of the craziest trip I have every had...to be continued...